01/29/09 2:12 PM EST
Olson willing to start or relieve
Newly acquired left-hander just 'ready to get hitters out'
By Jim Street / MLB.com
Former Mariners reliever George Sherrill, traded to the Orioles a year ago in the five-for-one Erik Bedard swap, had good things to say about Olson."He's a good kid and has pretty good stuff," Sherrill said. "He has a little ways to go before he figures it out, but he's well on his way." Sherrill came up with some food for thought. "He likes to eat. He would come to the park and get something to eat, come back an hour later and have something else to eat, and an hour later do the same thing," Sherrill said. "He can make some 'dagwoods' and we all wondered where he put it. He's not heavy, by any means." A product of Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, which is where he was on Wednesday when he learned about the trade, Olson was the 48th overall Draft choice in 2005 by the Orioles. He had a Minor League record of 21-17 and 2.95 ERA through the 2007 season, averaged 8.82 strikeouts per nine innings, and was invited to compete in the 2006 All-Star Futures Game. Olson said the experience he gained last season with the Orioles is sure to help him with the Mariners. "I feel that I gained a lot of ground on what it takes to be successful up here," he said. "Control-wise, I feel good now. I had more walks than I wanted, but I contributed that to trying to nibble and that's something I have adjusted to. "The bottom line is you have to trust your stuff and challenge the hitters." Olson said his pitching repertoire includes a fastball, curveball and changeup with emphasis on "location, being down in the zone and making adjustments." And not just on the mound. "Two weeks ago, I was getting my mind set ready to play for the Cubs," he said. "Now, my mind is set on the great northwest. I guess I'll have to cancel that order I put in for a 'Cubbied-out' blue and red Ferrari." After a brief pause, he said, "Just kidding."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.